Life and music career Childhood and early beginnings Born in Rochester, New York , Wang is the second of three sons of immigrants from Taiwan of waishengren heritage. His father, a pediatrician , and his mother, moved to the United States to further their college studies in the early s. Influenced by his older brother, Leo Wang, who had been taking violin lessons since he was seven, Wang began to develop a curious interest towards the violin and its musical counterparts when he was three.
He begged his mother to put him in violin lessons with his brother but his mother was against it, reasoning that he was too young. When Wang turned six, his mother enrolled him in violin classes, performing along with his brother. He also worked several jobs to earn money to buy a second hand drum kit. He graduated from Pittsford Sutherland. Passionate for a career in music, he chose to attend Williams College double majoring in music and Asian studies. The record received little limelight, forcing him to leave the label.
He co-wrote the album's eponymous title song, which earned positive responses from the audience. The album drew moderately successful sales, and he became a rising star in the idol market, also finding similar successes with his third and fourth albums.
During this time, Wang was asked to leave his college studies to pursue a full-time singing career, but he insisted on finishing school first. Rise to prominence — Wang's contract with Decca Records was terminated after the release of his fourth album White Paper in the summer of After graduating with honors at Williams College,   he released his first award-winning album Revolution under Sony Music Entertainment in August The album became his breakthrough album, immediately selling over 10, domestic units in the first week of release.
He continued his studies by attending Berklee College of Music 's Professional Music program, with voice as his principal instrument. It became his then best-selling album, selling over 1 million copies. His album also attracted international attention—Wang won three Best Male Vocalist awards at three different award ceremonies and was also awarded for his musical merit in the album at the 1st annual Asia Chinese Music Awards.
At the beginning of the millennium, Wang began filming for several Cantonese-language Hong Kong blockbusters, which inspired him to study the Cantonese language. The album's eponymous single is a tragic romantic ballad, speaking of a separation of two individuals.
Although raised in New York for most of his life, living in Taiwan made Wang realize the deep roots of his Chinese heritage. Forever's First Day yielded a cover of his uncle's signature song " Descendants of the Dragon "; Wang re-arranged the song with heavier rock and dance elements.
The song also included a rap bridge that summarized experiences of his parents living as a Chinese American in New York. Selling over 1 million units in Asia, the rock-inspired album won him over seven different prestigious awards throughout and The album's title single "The One and Only" peaked No.
Wang also began filming several Japanese films, establishing his rising star status in Japan. Eager to experience and perform different musical genres, Wang embarked on his first Asia-wide concert tour The Unbelievable Tour a few months before the release of his ninth album Unbelievable His concert tour received great reviews from both fans and music critics; they were impressed and shocked with his new-found hip hop image.
The album marked a milestone in his musical career; his new image received international critical acclaim and the album a chart-topping success, selling over 1. A celebratory version of the album was released three months later, also becoming a chart-topping album. The album's ballad "You're Not Here" also experienced international success, ranking No.
Chinked-out —06 Since , Wang became known for his brand of China Wind music , known as "chinked-out". Having established himself as one of the most important, influential, and prolific artists in Chinese music, Wang continued to invent and experiment with new sounds and voices. Wang continued to infuse chinked-out elements into his next album Heroes of Earth Heroes of Earth was the fastest-selling album of both and , selling over 1 million copies ten days after its release.
Subsequently, the album stayed as No. Three months after the release of Heroes of Earth, he began the Heroes of Earth Tour, his first major world tour. The concert commenced with two shows per night in the Taipei Dome in March , breaking Taiwan's concert attendance records. Wang took a break in working on his music to film Lust, Caution , an espionage thriller film directed by Ang Lee.
When asked about the sudden change of music style, Wang explained that the inspiration behind the song was due to the influence of his portrayal of Kuang Yumin in Lust, Caution. Lust, Caution made me return to 's Shanghai, re-living the moment.
The tour commenced with two shows per night in the Taipei Dome in September , three months before the release of Wang's thirteenth studio album, Heart Beat. Heart Beat was released on December 26,  debuting at No.
Like Wang's previous album, Heart Beat showed a similar emphasis of rock influences. The album largely focused on guitar and electric guitar solos, which Wang also used for performances in most of the album's music videos. Wanting to continue a similar "chinked-out" element, the album's first single, "What's Up with Rock?! For the track, he worked with pipa artist Liu Fang , and the two concentrated on mixing both electric guitar elements and pipa strings into the song. Musical style Wang's music varies in style greatly from album to album.
Many of the styles are infused with a Chinese flavor. Unbelievable began a new road of music for Wang. Fast dance songs like "Ya Birthday" and "Girlfriend" Chinese: Then, I coined the term chinked-out. Derived from the historically derogatory racial slur chink , used to put-down Chinese people, chinked-out reclaims the word, turns its negative connotations upside-down, and uses them as material to fuel the new sound of this music.
The term describes an effort to create a sound that is international, and at the same time, Chinese. This is not one of those world music CDs.